The UK is turning into an inflation outlier. New numbers this morning showed overall inflation stuck at 8.7 per cent rather than the 8.4 per cent analysts had forecast; core inflation (excluding food and energy prices) up from 6.8 to 7.1 per cent; and service price inflation of 7.4 per cent at its highest rate in 30 years. It’s the fourth month in a row that annualised numbers have exceeded forecasts and it means the Bank of England will almost certainly have to double down on interest rate rises however much they hurt. The pain homeowners and businesses will feel, as the Times notes in a leader, isn’t a byproduct of tight monetary policy. It’s the point. Which is a serious problem for Rishi Sunak, who can’t ask the BoE to give him a break as he approaches an election because he’s pledged to halve inflation and the bank is supposed to be independent. Inflation is lower across the EU and much lower in the US, and the Telegraph has a map of Conservative-held constituencies in which the number of mortgage holders exceeds the Tory majority. That number is 122.